Pico Bar and Eatery
A classy tapas bar tucked away from the hubbub of Taranaki Street.
Who doesn't love a good tapas bar? Ordering a selection of sharing plates is the perfect solution if you're stumped by an a la carte menu — and if it's choice you're after, Pico Bar and Eatery provides plenty of it.
Having taken root in the old Zibibbo site, Pico has firmly made its mark in the ideally located venue. The interior has had a fresh facelift, with the tropical wallpaper a real highlight. It's spacious, with plenty of distance between tables, and although based right on Taranaki Street, you'll feel a world away once inside.
As for the menu, it's a challenge trying to pinpoint overarching theme. We suggest you be adventurous and try a bit of this and that — there are the aforementioned sharing plates, wood-fired pizzas and breads, larger mains and an entire section dedicated to Kiwi classics. Even across the sharing plates alone, there's an eclectic mix, touching on flavours from Latin America, Europe and Asia.
We decided to sample a margherita pizza ($20) and two sharing plates. The margherita was your pretty standard fare: Roma tomatoes, a dash of basil and a thick, shiny glazing of buffalo mozzarella. Although perhaps a tad dry and crispy for our liking, the cheese definitely makes its presence felt and it's a solid enough pizza.
The Tokyo chicken crispy thighs ($17) were probably our pick of the sharing plates. Delightfully sweet and tangy — think Korean fried chicken without the spice and the crunch — they're the perfectly bite-sized and complemented by hearty edamame beans and a refreshing ponzu salad.
On the other hand, we were left slightly confused by the ceviche ($18). We were presented with what looked like a sashimi plate with a citrus onion dip and side fennel salad, before we realised that a sort of deconstructed ceviche was what they were probably aiming for. The fish itself is fresh and succulent and does a nice job of complementing the richness of the other dishes.
Although not the most exceptional food you'll find in the heart of the city, Pico offers a diversity of tastes and classy ambience in abundance, making it an ideal CBD spot for some light nibbles over conversation.